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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The world is crazy enough without people trying to change it all the time. Big changes, little changes — all change is bad. I canít say that enough (although I probably already have in this space over the last ten years). You know when they install a new traffic light and put up a sign that says ďChanged Conditions AheadĒ? With flags and all? That sign has me looking for the nearest side street, where conditions might not have changed.

The government of the state of California has a Clue Deficiency that often makes me wonder whoís in charge here. Then I remember whoís in charge here and I cease to wonder. About the who, that is. I still wonder about the why.

About two years ago, the agency that collects state sales taxes decided that all tax returns would be filed on line. They sent a letter with a code that would get me into the system. I followed the instructions, only to be informed that because of the nature of my tax license, I wasnít eligible to file on line and should continue to file using the traditional paper forms. Which were no longer available.

So I had to make a phone call, and you can imagine how thrilled I was about that. The most amazing part of this saga is the fact that the agent I talked to admitted that they had screwed up, and that the system wasnít working right, and that I should continue to file paper returns. The problem was, no such paper returns existed at that time, so they modified an old return, blanked out the entries, and faxed it to me to use.

Thatís actually the part of this whole deal that impresses me the most, that they were willing to compromise and improvise. I hope that agent still has her job, after all thatís gone on in Sacramento recently.

1 June 2010

So now, at long last, we come to today. Same letter comes in the mail, telling me paper tax return forms will no longer be sent, and Iím required to e-file, starting with the next cycle. De-lovely, innit? More changes, more adaptations to make, more trauma. Why canít things just stay the same? (At least the things that work. For me, I mean.)

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